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The Coalition on Homelessness is a homeless advocacy and social justice organization that focuses on creating long-term solutions to homelessness, poverty, and housing issues in San Francisco, California. The Coalition was founded in 1987 by a collaboration of San Francisco service providers, homeless people, and activists.

The best recognized project of the Coalition on Homelessness is San Francisco's homeless newspaper, the Street Sheet, but its work has resulted in many changes to the City's policies with regard to homeless people (such as the Shelter Grievance Policy, which gives homeless shelter residents legal recourse when ejected from shelters), and in the creation of new services in San Francisco (such as the Community Housing Partnership, which provides long-term affordable housing for formerly homeless individuals).

Some of the Coalition's efforts have been controversial, such as its outspoken opposition to Mayor Gavin Newsom's Care Not Cash program.

The Coalition operates on a bottom-up grassroots organizing model.

[edit] External links

Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) is a shack dwellers' movement that began in Durban, South Africain early 2005[1] and now also has members across KwaZulu-Natal[2] and in Cape Town.[3] The movement grew out of a road blockade[4] organized from the Kennedy Road shack settlement in the city of Durban in early 2005[5] and now operates across the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape as well as in Cape Town. It is the largest shack dweller's organization in South Africa. [6]. According to the The Times of London the movement "has shaken the political landscape of South Africa."[7].

The words Abahlali baseMjondolo are isiZulu for people who stay in shacks.

Since 2005 the movement has carried out a series of large scale marches.[8]. The movement's elected leader, S'bu Zikode, has called for "a living communism."[9], the movement has often made anti-capitalist statements[10] and it has demanded the expropriation of private land for public housing.[11].

Abahlali states that it refuses to participate in party politics[12] or any NGO style professionalization or individualization of struggle and instead seeks to build democratic people's power where people live and work.[13]

Academic work on the movement stresses that it is, indeed, non-professionalized (i.e. independent of NGO control), autonomous from party politics[14] and democratic.[15]

The movement has been involved in considerable conflict with the eThekwini Municipality[16] and has undertaken numerous protests and legal actions against the City authorities.[17] The movement is currently suing the Provincial Government of KwaZulu-Natal to have the Slums Act[18] declared unconstitutional.[19].

The movement took a strong stand against the xenophobic attacks that swept the country[20] in May 2008 and there were no attacks in any Abahlali settlements[21]. The movement was also able to stop an in progress attack in the (non-Abahlali affiliated) Kenville settlement and to offer shelter to some people displaced in the attacks.[22].

Abahlali has often made claims over severe police harassment, including torture.[23]. On a number of occasions these claims have been supported by church leaders [24] and human rights organisations [25].

In late December 2008 S'bu Zikode announced that after long negotiations the movement was about to sign a deal with eThekwini Municipality to provide services to 14 settlements and to build houses at 3 settlements.[26].



[edit] Context

Abahlali Assembly, Foreman Road Settlement

In early 2008 the United Nations expressed serious concern about the treatment of shack dwellers in Durban. [27]

The eThekwini Municipality which governs Durban and Pinetown has embarked on a slum clearance programme which means the steady demolition of shack settlements and a refusal to provide basic services (e.g. electricity, sanitation etc) to existing settlements on the grounds that all shack settlements are now 'temporary'. In these demolitions some shack dwellers are simply left homeless and others are subject to unlawful forced evictions to the rural periphery of the city.[28].

The Anti-Poverty Committee (APC) is an organisation based in Vancouver, British Columbia that campaigns against poverty and homelessness.

The APC participates in direct action events such as sit-ins and squats[1] to protests closure of low-income housing projects and has garnered considerable attention with disruptive protests[2] centred around the 2010 Winter Olympics, to be held in Vancouver.

According to its website, the Anti-Poverty Committee "is an organization of poor and working people, who fight for poor people, their rights and an end to poverty by any means necessary."[3]



[edit] Opposition to the 2010 Winter Olympics

On a May weekend in 2007, Vancouver Police used a ruse to arrest APC organizer David Cunningham as part of their investigation into threats made to "evict" 2010 Winter Olympic Games board members from their homes and offices. The police had pretended to be a reporter with Vancouver's commuter newspaper 24 Hours. This ruse was criticised in newspaper editorials as endangering the media's appearance of independence.

On May 22, 2007, following Cunningham's arrest, three APC activists pretended to be delivering flowers as a ruse to gain entry to the Vancouver offices of BC Premier Gordon Campbell. The group began destroying glassware, as well as overturning furniture and scattering documents. The group stated that this action was an eviction of 2010 Winter Olympic Games special advisor Ken Dobell from his office. [4]

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a community-based organization that advocates for low- and moderate-income families by working on neighborhood safety, voter registration, health care, affordable housing, and other social issues. ACORN has over 350,000 members and more than 850 neighborhood chapters in over 100 cities across the United States, as well as in Argentina, Canada, Mexico, and Peru. ACORN was founded in 1970 by Wade Rathke and Gary Delgado.[1] Maude Hurd has been National President of ACORN since 1990.

ACORN's priorities have included: better housing and wages for the poor, more community development investment from banks and governments, and better public schools.[2] ACORN pursues these goals through demonstration, negotiation, legislation, and voter participation.[2]

ACORN is made up of several legally distinct parts including local non-profits, a national lobbying organization and the ACORN Housing Corporation.[3] ACORN is non-partisan, though it is often aligned with the Democratic Party on policy.[3] This political alignment and some of the causes it advocates have made ACORN the subject of partisan conflict.[4][3] Some of ACORN's voter registration programs have been investigated for fraud.[5]



[edit] Issues and actions

[edit] Predatory lending and affordable housing

ACORN targets companies that engage in lending practices that it considers predatory. It supports strict state laws against predatory practices, organizes against foreclosure rescue scams, and steers borrowers toward loan counseling;[6] Following a three-year campaign, Household International (now owned by HSBC Holdings and renamed HSBC Finance Corporation), one of the largest subprime lenders in the country, and ACORN announced on November 25, 2003 a proposed settlement of a 2002 national class-action lawsuit brought by ACORN. The settlement created a $72 million foreclosure avoidance program to provide relief to household borrowers who are at risk of losing their homes.[6] The settlement came on the heels of an earlier $484 million settlement between Household, Attorneys General, and bank regulators from all 50 US states.[7]

ACORN and its affiliates advocate for affordable housing by urging the development, rehabilitation and establishment of housing trust funds at the local, state, and federal levels.[8] The group also pushes for enforcement of affordable-housing requirements for developers and promotes programs to help homeowners repair their homes and organize tenant demands.[8]

ACORN has been criticized by free market groups for its role in advocating easier credit standards for low-income home buyers and for encouraging government-based housing trusts rather than a market-oriented approach to expand public housing.[9]

[edit] Living wages

Living wage ordinances require private businesses that do business with the government to pay their workers a wage that enables them to afford basic necessities.



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